4. Limited Brands ( LTD) is a specialty retailer of women's intimate and other apparel, beauty and personal care products and accessories. The company's brands include Victoria's Secret, Victoria's Secret Pink, La Senza, and Bath & Body Works. It operates 2,628 specialty stores in the U.S. and its brands are sold in more than 600 direct-owned and franchised stores worldwide. Of the 25 analysts covering the stock, 52% recommend a buy and the rest suggest a hold. The stock's average 12-month price target is $45.21, or 15.2% higher than the current price, according to a Bloomberg survey. Net sales for the third quarter of 2011 stood at $2.1 billion, up 9.5% from the same period last year. Adjusted earnings per share increased 39%, while operating income rose 24.8%. Comparable-store sales grew 8% for the quarter. For 2011, the company pegs adjusted earnings per share between $2.38 and $2.53. In November, the company reported a 7% increase in comparable store sales for the four weeks ended Nov. 26, 2011. Furthermore, EL has declared a special dividend of $2 per share, payable Dec. 23. Sycamore Partners, a New York-based private equity firm, recently acquired a controlling 51% interest in Mast Global Fashions, the third-party apparel sourcing division of Limited Brands.